Don’t Go Crying to Your Mama

Ain’t it fun livin’ in the real world
Ain’t it good bein’ all alone

Ain’t it good to be on your own?
Ain’t it fun you can’t count on no one?
Ain’t it good to be on your own?
Ain’t it fun you can’t count on no one?

-Paramore, Ain’t It Fun

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I felt like I was listening to the soundtrack of my life as I played Paramore’s latest song, Ain’t It Fun. I’ve been living all alone for a long time. I have had room mates, board mates, dorm mates but basically I take charge in everything I do, spend, and buy.

When I first told my office mates that I was on my own, they were surprised and curious how I managed to survive. I did not find my life unique or challenging as it appeared to them. When I was in college, I lived in a dormitory where most of us came from different provinces. The surprised look I got from my office mates reflects how much we Filipinos like to cling to our families.  Hence, we have a lot of extended families. Unlike other countries where young professionals would want to have a house or rent a space away from their parents, we, Filipinos, most of the time prefer to be with our families. I do miss the comfort of home and if I have a choice, I want to live with my family but there is such fulfillment on being able to have independence. It opens opportunity for growth and strengthens character (chos! :D). Hence, if you are twenty-something, you might try to spread your wings and fly.

You learn to meet your needs and wants.
When you want something so bad, you will find a way to achieve it.

You learn to solve your own problems.

So what are you gonna do when the world don’t orbit around you? (Paramore)
This is the kind of questions you try to answer
No one will think for you.

You learn to nurse yourself
I used to cry a lot over a lot of things when I was a kid. As I grow old, I cry less or choose the things I cry for. I have gone through many heartaches and the only thing I had is a phone. It’s hard to have problems when you’re on your own. For one reason, you have more time for yourself. Hence, you have more room to entertain depression. As what Paramore said in their song: “It’s so easy to ignore trouble when you are living in a bubble.”

You appreciate solitude
You have a lot of personal space for you to reflect and evaluate the choices and events that take place in your life.

You learn to carry your things
If I am living with my family, I will let my brother carry my water jug, or laundry. Because most of the time I am all by myself and I don’t want to be a burden to anybody, I have no choice to carry my stuff which are too heavy for my size. One of the most tiresome things I did in college was transferring my stuff from dormitory to boarding house. I did not know how I managed to transfer balikbayan boxes on my own. I am no longer using it as excuse that I’m small and I’m a girl. Morale of the story for lazy girls like me: You are stronger than you think.

You value health
My brother told me the advantage of living with relatives is that someone takes care of you when you’re sick. This is true. The reason why I am healthy so far and why I want to be healthy is because I am on my own. Nobody is going to take care of me when I am sick. Hence, you should try living by yourself because it will improve you immune system. #truestory

You learn to take care of yourself
When you value health, you are obligated to take care of yourself. I buy my own medicine and food when I am sick. I bring a whistle and a pepper spray when I’m all alone.

You learn to reach out
When you don’t have a support group such as family, you find the need to have friends. I do feel homesick when I see families going to church on Sunday. Hence I make it a point to spend time with friends for comfort and sanity.

You learn to ask help 
I love my mom. When I am having a hard time to figure out how to get this and that, my mom helps me with everything. Our parents are our first Wikipedia. Now that I am on my own, I am forced to seek help from people who know better than me. I learn to be less shy. I learn to ask and make short chats. Don’t rely on yourself too much. You can’t survive without others.

You spend money wisely
You don’t really have much freedom when you are living by yourself in the sense that no one shoulders expenses for you. You learn to budget and save.

You learn to make decisions
Decision making is harder for people who are living on their own than those who are living with their families. Again, you don’t really have much freedom as you think you should. You can’t change careers or change address, change life plans as easy as a person who is still financially dependent.

Just how the song ends..

(Note to Self:)
Don’t go crying to your mama, coz you’re on your own in the real world.

No Age Match

Last July 2013, Senator Pia Cayetano filed Senate Bill No. 29 or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 2013. This bill will penalize any employer who discriminates applicants on the basis of age. This gives confidence for people who are afraid to try better job options.

The problem with ‘age’ is that it gives false expectation. That’s my problem with numbers. That’s why I hate math. The employer summarizes his expectation in numbers. If you are older, you probably have a set of skills. If you are younger, you have the agility and the flexibility to be on field. Age just like appearance, is a simplified way of evaluating people. It is also a way of evaluating yourself. Age sets the timetable of what you should achieve and what you should have. Age tells you how you should behave and how you make life choices.

I have an age issue. Sometimes, I am hesitant of answering how old I am because I ruin the images that construct a real adult. With my looks, I will have a hard time convincing people that I can get married, I can apply for a driver’s license, I can watch R-18 movies. Believe it or not, I have lived more than two decades on earth. And sometimes I feel like I have to bring my diploma or certificate of employment to make others believe I am old enough for this and that.

There’s a part of me that wants to be described young and there’s also a part of me that wants to be described old. If there is no concept of age, I shouldn’t be torn between being young and being old.

Misconceptions of Age

There are many misconceptions that come in age. One is: ”When you’re older, you’re smarter or wiser.” The older ones can be very assuming but great ideas can come from the youth. Young people are progressive thinkers. They should be heard. And sometimes you find yourself giving advice to people who are older than you. When you are led by people younger than you, it hurts your pride. Instead of earning knowledge, you gain insecurity. But life is like that. Someone just had a happy chance in his early stage of life.

And it does not mean you are old, you stop learning. When I attend workshops or join performing classes, I usually meet young people even if it’s an adult class. Where are all the other grownups? I salute the 30s who are taking dance lessons and voice classes, who go to culinary school, who finish their studies even if their peers are done.

Child vs Adult

The world has a set of standards for adulthood. And if adulthood meant going to the bars, drinking all night, learning how to smoke, I prefer to be a child. I never let go of my kindergarten fascination on colors, tales, songs, and magic. I crave for excitement, just like when I was sixteen years old. And I still keep my college idealism.

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Growing up or growing old, is often correlated with accumulation, may it be knowledge or wealth. It saddens me that maturity lets you go of small things. Children like bubbles, balloons, crayons and clowns. But an adult with so many bills and goals, the floating balloon in the air is invisible.

I think I’m too young even if my age tells me I’m not. I knew it when I saw the fireworks at Disneyland. My feet were sore and my eyes were signing off but the fireworks brought my eight-year-old self to life. Too many colors occupied the sky. The music made it more dramatic. When it played A Whole New World, I wanted to cry. If my brother and sister weren’t around, tears would come out naturally. I felt it was forever and I lingered on the thought that “dreams come true.”

If you ask me how old I am,

I’m ageless

just like Disney…

I am timeless

jack disney

Signs of Aging

I think I’m the perfect epitome of forever 21. I am also qualified for forever 16, forever 14, and forever 12.   I’ll never grow old whether I like it or not. That’s what I believe in  but lately things change. I now feel old.  I can lie about  my age if  I talk about inches, lines, and wrinkles. But there are some clear signs of aging that I cannot deny.

When you see your peers change their relationship status to married and baby photos in their wall photos

Most of the time, I am surprised when I see my batch mates in school, my friends and acquaintances over here and there share wedding photos. “But that’s impossible! He was just about my age.”  Really? Does that mean I can get married too? Reality bites. It’s just so hard for me to reconcile that I can be mother and a wife, like some of my peers do.

When your dreams are SMARTer

As you and I grow old, our dreams become smaller and smarter so that they can fit into our world. Only a small population of those who have dreamed to be lawyers and doctors in high school will stick to their childhood dreams. When you plan your life ahead, you make practical goal setting.  As what my RGEP teacher said goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound)

When you easily get tired and bored

I suddenly feel my body is slowly aging. It’s not  as energetic as it used to be. I used to cram a lot when I was still studying.  I could endure long nights yet stay alive the following day. Today, I cannot  keep my body alert and awake all the time. I have no power to fight sleep anymore. I sleep everywhere.

When cute boys are not interesting

Maybe this is just me. If  Iwere a bit younger, I would probably like Daniel Padilla. But I’m just too old to appreciate the likes of Daniel Padilla, Justine Bieber or even guys with baby-face like Richard Gutierrez.  I prefer men over boys because boys need a lot of catching up to do. In short I opt to watch a movie of Richard Gere over Zach Efron’s. lol *kidding

When you wear thick face and thick skin

Confidence comes in age.  Now, in my twenties, I take risks without thinking.  Lesson learned in life: the more you think, the more you don’t do it.  Think less and you will achieve more .  As the years go by, I develop thick skin. With the number of years on earth comes the number of failures and rejection. You will eventually acquire immunity.

When you forget your age

I don’t speak lies but  apparently I have some memory gap which is another sign of aging. I sometimes fill out forms with my wrong age.

When you are already concerned about money and security

Teens will not normally talk about savings, investment, and business. And if you happen to hear these words a dozen times, congratulations, you are now an adult.

When the teen star you used to watch is now an adult

When I watched Anne Hathaway played Fantine in Les Miserables, I could not get over the thought she was the girl in Princess Diaries. She was the nerdy and clumsy Princess Mia and now she’s playing a prostitute.  If the teen star is now a full grown adult, then I’m probably an adult too? Gee, how old am I?

When you witness your nieces growing up

It’s easier to notice children growing up than grown-ups growing old. Kids serve as my calendar. They remind me how old I am.

When you’re with someone super young, you’ll feel super old too